Category Archives: education

Plaga, Plaga, Plaga!!!

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Sad Tomotes…

Plaga, Plaga, Plaga!!!

Anyone who has tried growing food organically in tropical or sub-tropical Mexico knows the meaning of the “plaga” – the ubiquitous Mexican word for any bug or fungus friends that love your fruit & veg as much you do!

Following is a collection of local, organic, folk pesticides, plus some store-bought remedies purchased at the Gaia store in Uruapan, and one other ingredient smuggled in from NOB (north of the border):

The Local Brews:

Jorge’s Spicey Chili/Garlic Mix (yum!): 

  1. Soak 250gr. of chopped habanero chilis + garlic in alcohol in a small jar for 3-4days
  2. Add liquid to 1 ltr alcohol rubbing alcohol or equivalent
  3. Add this mix to 10ltrs of water

Jorge says this mix is a good pesticide for general nuisance bugs such as Whitefly (“mosca blanca”), Aphids, and “Escabajos” (small hard-shell insects common with citrus), or larger “mayates” (beetles such as Palm Weevils)

Jorge’s Pretty Flower Mix:

  1. Soak 250 grams of red bougainvillea flowers in jar of alcohol 
  2. Follow steps 2-3 above

Jorge claims this mix is good for virosis/hongos (fungual infections and/or viruses), especially those effecting tomatoes.

Note also that the two recipes above can be mixed together.

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Me with my fancy new sprayer. Photo by Holly.

Commercial Mixes:

Store Bought Salvation (unless otherwise noted, ingredients for the following recipes were purchased at the Gaia store in Uruapan, Michoacan (www.gaiaorganicos.mx) and use their generic Emulbiol (jabón agricola / liguid agricultural use soap) as an emulsifying agent.

Caldo Sulfocálcico (azufre/sulfer + cal/calcium oxide in solution): (originally used to combat sarno (mange) in pets, this product is good for ácaro (mites), cochinilla, trip (thrip) and other insects common with avocados, mangos, and citrus.

1) Mix Caldo Sulfocálcico with Emulbiol and water in the following ratios:

a. When the plant is flowering: 1ml Emulbiol:1ltr water: 10ml Caldo Sulfocálcico

b. When the plant is not flowering: 2ml Emulbiol:1ltr water: 20ml Caldo Sulfocálcico

Note: the vendor says that it can also be mixed with diatomaceous but I question the efficaciousness of diatomaceous when wet

Alomon (garlic/onion extract used for general nuisance bugs such as Whitefly, Weevils Mealybugs, Aphids, Thrips, and Psyllids):

  1. Mix 1ml Emulbiol with 1 liter of water 
  2. Add 3 – 6 ml per liter of Alomon per each Liter of Emulbiol & water

Neem Oil (used for general nuisance bugs such as Whitefly, Weevils Mealybugs, Aphids, Thrips, and Psyllids): 1- 5ml per liter of aqua mixed with 1 – 2 ml Emulbiol

Note: Vendor says use Caldo 1st. If it doesn’t work, then go to Alomon, then Neem, substituting in Alomon or Neem for Caldo Sulocálcio (I think this may be prioritized for cost as Neem is the more expensive ingredient of the three).

Beauveria bassiana: Lastly comes the super, duper, pest-party pooper, (a fungal mycoinsecticide for Whitefly, Weevils Mealybugs, Aphids, Thrips, Psyllids, grasshoppers and beetles. We brought this fairly pricey product down from the U.S. but later found to be available for more reasonable cost in Mexico under the trade name Beauverimic. This wonder product can also be used for bedbugs and is being investigated for use in controlling mosquitos!

Use = 1 tablespoon  per gallon.

Diatomaceous Earth: Our go-to anti-parasite supplement for us and all of our animal brother and sisters. It is also good for control of any insect with a carapace, and we have even had some luck using it to deter the dreaded leaf cutter ants. Sprinkle in their nest, they will sometimes leave, or it can be used to block their nightly commute to the harvest. We bring this from The States in 25pd bags.

Mix liberally with animal feed, or take a teaspoon occasionally as a dietary supplement.

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And one last note: while all of the above can be applied with hand pump sprayers, we recently made the $250 investment in a motorized power sprayer (pictured), and can’t say enough about the help this is for larger scale applications such as our 1-acre Permaculture food forest!

Good Luck Amigos. Happy hunting!

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Mexico Sustainability With A Twist!

Thirteen years ago Dan Gair & Holly Hunter bought land in a small village on the coast of Jalisco. Three years later they sold their U.S. businesses and moved to the property full time. The experience since became a rogue experiment that overran the lab – fun, challenging, and even scary at times.

In September 2018 “The Mexico Diaries, A Sustainable Adventure”, a memoir about their journey, was released on Amazon & Kindle. To date the book has received an astounding 4.7 average rating on Amazon/Kindle and 4.44 on Goodreads (30+ reviews on each). SurvivingMexico. com / Book Reviews calls The Mexico Diaries “A whirlwind Mexican journey to sustainability and beyond…”.

In the book you will find scores of eccentric people, outrageous animal stories, narco encounters, corrupt cops, and even a splash of Voodoo or two! The book is also a narrative about switching up our lives and pursuing a more sustainable lifestyle on foreign soil.

For those of you considering Mexico as a place to retire to, ‘The Mexico Diaries’ can serve as both encouragement, and a cautionary tale.

That’s it then. Hop on Amazon using the following link (https://goo.gl/FHJ94q), purchase a copy, and enjoy the ride! Please also consider giving it a review (the Amazon sales game is all about reviews which drive rankings) knowing that 50% of any profit will be donated to The Environmental Defense Fund!

#Mexico #sustainbility #adventure #Permaculture #photography #sustainable #travel

 

 

PDC’s – Free Online vs. Paid For Location Courses?

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PDC’s – Free Online vs. Paid For Location Courses?

Ever wondered why on-location Permaculture Certification Courses (PDC’s) charge the big bucks, while their kissing’ cousins, online PDC courses, are free, or practically nothing to “attend”?

The following is an excellent general primer on PDC’s, and explains clearly and fully why live PDC’s are well worth spending your hard earned pesos on: (click link)

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January PDC (Permaculture Certification Course) in Mexico!

January PDC (Permaculture Certification Course) in Mexico!

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Join us for this transformative experience in a welcoming, traditional village

 – just steps from one of Mexico’s most pristine, swimmable beaches! Jan. 10-24, 2016

Come Grow Your World!

Learn regenerative food growing, energy production, natural building,

and water systems, adaptable to any climate.

This is the Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) course laid out by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, and refined since it’s inception in the late 1980’s. Participants receive 72-hours of theory and hands-on practical training not possible with online courses.

Camping, all meals, and ground transport provided. Lodging upgrades, early bird discounts, & limited scholarships available.

Instructors:

Andrew Jones: Founding Member of BajaBioSana, and PDC Instructor on 5 continents.

Shenaqua Jones: Permaculture Instructor, Yoga, Health & Raw Foods Educator.

Axel Gutierrez: Master’s Degree in sustainability. Trained with Bill Mollison & David Holmgren.

Daniel Gair: Natural Building & Solar Instructor

Holly Hunter: Artisan Cheese Maker and Animal Care Instructor.

For Further Info/Registration: www.PDC2016.com